Smart vs. Globe LTE: there's nothing to compare at the moment!

MANILA, Philippines - Leading telecommunication operator Smart launched the first commercially available LTE network in the Philippines, August 25. Two days before its launch, rival operator Globe announced that it will fire up their LTE the following month but still have no exact date as of this writing.

Smart vs. Globe LTE comparison
Competition heats up as Smart claims the first 4G LTE in the Philippines. On the other hand, Globe is claiming for the first mobile 4G.

For those who are curious about Globe press release of having the first 4G network, HSPA+ and WIMAX are not 4G, it's 3.5G or 3.9G. Only LTE is capable of delivering 4G speed.

Smart also has an existing HSPA+ and WIMAX network and not boasting for existing 4G network beforehand.

Smart has undergone successful beta testing for almost a year firing up LTE in various festivals in the country like Dinagyang, Panagbenga and Sinulog before its commercial launch. Demo sites within Metro Manila also provided for LTE trial. On the other hand, Globe Telecoms is not yet announcing its official test and demo sites in the country. Never heard nor read articles about trial test for Globe LTE.

What Globe promised on its press release of it's 4G Tattoo LTE  in September is it will cover  45 sites in Makati City that will quickly expand to cover regions across Manila, Cebu, Davao and selected regions.

Smart LTE uses 2100Mhz, 1800Mhz and 850MHz bands of frequency while Globe LTE will use only 1800MHz frequency. If you've noticed, 2100Mhz band is also the frequency used for 3G technology while 1800MHz is used also for 2G service. So, what's the advantage of using these frequencies? It means that if mobile phones come compatible of LTE with 1.8 or 2.1 GHz frequency, there will be a smooth transition or shift to LTE service. Note that LTE will be the future platform of technology with all services to be incorporated to LTE infrastructure.

More Smart LTE base stations were fired-up on the first half of September in major locations in Luzon particularly in Tagaytay, Dau and Baguio. Nationwide coverage can be expected at the first quarter of the year.

Just like Smart LTE, Globe promised up to 42 Mbps of speed. It also says that by the 4th quarter of 2012, 4G LTE-capable devices will be available. Globe said that Apple's iPhone 5 will be the first mobile phone with compatibility to 1.8GHz frequency of LTE. But, still need to verify since there are other factors such as chips and software.

Smart LTE comes with Plan 3500 with free Huawei dongle and  unli data up to October 25. After this period, subscribers must abide to 10G cap limit.

Globe Telecoms on the other hand has unlimited LTE plans that are cheaper than it's competitor. The Tattoo Black Plan 1799, with speed of up to 28Mbps is offered at P1,799/month while the Tattoo Black Elite Plan 2499, with speed of up to 42 Mbps is priced at P2,499/month.

But take note, you should not amaze quickly with Tattoo plans since official list of  base stations is not yet revealed. One thing is sure, there is no Globe LTE coverage yet and the plan is for 1800 Mhz band only. Globe commercial launch of it's LTE is also not yet announced.

In terms of 4G technology, Globe is just starting. It seems that it's just riding on the popularity of Smart LTE and blocking attention on what Smart receives now.

Definitely, the stiffer competition between these major telcos will change or regulate  LTE pricing in the country. Tech savvy will surely benefit from it.

UPDATE: Smart LTE: Affordable, Reliable and Commercially Available

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